Album #145: Peel Dream Magazine – Agitprop Alterna

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: New York City, USA
  • Label: Tough Love
  • Best Track: Pill

Is shoegaze not cool anymore? I was wasting time on the Album of the Year website the other day and thought I’d look up the best shoegaze albums of 2020. So far, there’s only one listed!

I know that Ringo Deathstarr and Pia Fraus for a start have released albums this year, so the genre pigeon-holing is questionable, but the only 2020 shoegaze album that appears on the site at present is by NYC-based Peel Dream Magazine.

I’m not familiar with this band at all, but Agitprop Alterna is their second album, and it unmistakably is shoegaze. Opening track ‘Pill’ is reminiscent of My Bloody Valentine’s ‘To Here Knows When’ with the timing and intonation of the sighing vocals.

The dreamlike, ambient tracks like ‘Escalator Ism’ and ‘Up and Up’ are perfectly passable, but I like the more grindy and abrasive ones better, like ‘Emotional Devotion Creator’ and ‘Eyeballs’. Those two carry notes of the looping din of the likes of Spacemen 3.

The album wears its influences on its sleeve, but it does them justice.

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